Stress is a "reaction to a stimulus that disturbs our physical or mental equilibrium. In other words, it's an omnipresent part of life. A stressful event can trigger the “fight-or-flight” response, causing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol to surge through the body." The stimulus can be real or even imaginary. We experience stress all the time, every day for a lot of us. Some of this stress is good, it makes us ready for emergencies. For a short moment, it is helpful as it builds on our ability to control the reaction. However, if it is not kept in check, it can be very damaging. Stress alone can cause chest pain, high cholesterol, cardiac problems, depression, hair loss and so many other problems. The factors are limitless, and the coping mechanisms vary. Some are great, but some can be harmful and dangerous. The best cure for stress is laughter, as laughing "lowers levels of cortisol, adrenaline, and epinephrine, which are stress-aggravating hormones; and it releases feel-good hormones, such as, dopamine." Chewing gum also helps, as well as dark chocolate. Stress balls hit certain pressure points in your hand that help alleviate stress. Obviously, these do not always work. Each person is different and what works for one will not work for everyone else. I am writing this thread to help bring awareness to other coping methods. I recently learned of a "crisis hotline". If you're stressed out because of finals, financials, holidays, or any moment of "crisis" or stress, talking to someone may help. Texting "start" to 741-741 will connect you to the hotline, and to someone who is trained to help deal with stress. After each session, the counselor writes up a short summary of the conversation, for counselors to use as background information next time you text in. You can also choose to delete the entire conversation transcripts (which are not shared with other counselors). *This would not delete the summary, just transcripts*. You may end the conversation at any time by saying "stop". I have spoken to them seeking information for this thread, and they were more than happy to help me. I asked them about their crisis counselors, ie their training, backgrounds, and how they are chosen. I spoke to Isabel who gave me helpful information, and various links. All counselors have to go through the application process and are selected for hire, and then undergo a series of training. For more information, you can visit crisistextline.org/faq There is an optional survey at the end of the session, which does not go on record. You answer basic questions about how you feel post-texting, and how helpful your counselor was to you. You can even choose to leave your counselor a short note at the end of your survey, such as praising them for their compassion and help, or telling them how they can adjust to help more people in the future. In a world so ridden of stress and worry, self doubt and judgement, I found it so inspiring to find out about this texting hotline, and I hope you find it useful as well. Now I encourage you all to post stories in the replies, as well as personal coping methods and even ask for help if you need it. Please keep the conversation safe and kind, you never know what is happening on the other side of our screens.